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What is Tire Rotation?

Changing a wheel

No matter what vehicle you drive, when it comes to basic maintenance, changing the position of your tires is a fundamental step everyone should keep in mind. What is the proper tire rotation pattern? Tires are switched from the front to the back or vice versa depending on your vehicle model. Generally, tire rotations should be done every six months or 6,000 miles to keep your vehicle running smoothly and prevent uneven or irregular wear patterns. Plan on rotating them yourself? Learn more about proper tire rotation patterns with the service team at Don Franklin Auto Group!

What Tire Rotation Pattern Should You Use for Your Car?

Choosing the correct tire rotation pattern depends on whether your vehicle uses front-wheel, rear-wheel, or four-wheel drive.

  • Forward Cross is the best and most common pattern for vehicles that use front-wheel drive since braking and steering are controlled by the front axle. Take the front tires, bring them to the back, and keep them on their respective sides. The back tires will now come to the front and cross sides in the process. What was once the rear left tire now becomes the front right tire.
  • X-Pattern is also a common option for front-wheel drive vehicles. This is similar to the forward cross pattern, however, instead of keeping the front tires on their respective sides, they will cross sides as well. The front and rear tires are exchanged diagonally.
  • Rearward Cross is the best rotation pattern for vehicles with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive where braking and steering are controlled by the rear or both axles. This is essentially the opposite of the forward cross pattern. The rear wheels come forward and stay on their respective sides while the front wheels rotate to the back and cross sides. The front left tire becomes the rear right tire.

Rotating Directional vs. Non-Directional Tires

An important step to check before you choose the best rotation pattern for you is whether or not your tires are directional. Some tires are designed with a one-way pattern and that means they can only be used on one side of the vehicle. By examining the tire’s sidewall, an arrow or triangle will indicate whether it is directional or not. Once you’ve determined that, what rotation pattern works best?

  • Directional Tires will prevent you from crossing, so the front left and rear left tires switch and the front right and back right tires switch.
  • Non-Directional Tires are more flexible and can switch in any direction. For the best results, go with the X-pattern.

Learn More About Tire Care at Don Franklin Auto Group!

After finding the right pattern and rotating your tires, get back on the road and enjoy your smooth ride! If you have any questions about your tire quality or the rotation process, contact Don Franklin Auto Group or schedule a service appointment today at one of our service centers.

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